Fitzpatrick – Higgins

Victoria Kelly messaged me recently saying, “I live in Auckland, New Zealand and am a 6th generation New Zealander – with Scottish, Irish and Danish/Faroese ancestry. 

I have learned that my great-great-great grandparents were married in Blantyre, South Larnakshire on the 14th of August, 1841. Their names were James Fitzpatrick (1814 – 1902) and Ann Higgins / Higgens (1832 -1883).

Their daughter Mary Ann Fitzpatrick (1841 – 1914) immigrated to New Zealand and married Edward Kelly. My husband and I are planning a big family trip with our three children (aged 12, 8 and 8) and are excited to visit some of the places that our family lived and explore some of our history. We are planning to visit Scotland – including South Lanarkshire – in late April this year.  I would love to find and visit the church that James and Ann Fitzpatrick were married in and, if possible, learn more about them and visit some of the places where they lived their lives.”

I was able to reply with:

I confirm also that the couple were married on 14th August 1841 as attached marriage proclamation.

There maybe a little error in Ann Heggens birth year you sent me? It would surely have to be earlier than 1832, given they married in 1841, so i can correct this to 1820.

Census only started in 1841 and they’re not in it, so I think they had left Blantyre immediately after marrying. I’m fairly sure they emigrated in the early 1840’s too. An interesting time in history with Queen Victoria coming to be more accepted.

The 1820’s and 1830’s were boom years for attracting employees to the weaving mills of Blantyre. Not much else existed back then as Blantyre itself was only a small village prior to the discovery of coal. Workers were housed in the new Blantyre Works Village, usually employed as cotton workers. Immigrants from Ireland flocked to Blantyre for the opportunity of better housing at the mills and constant work. 

The village was gated then and had its shop and own church (no longer there).

If anybody is travelling to Scotland from abroad and plan to look around Blantyre, I’m always happy to show people around.

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  1. I also am a descendant of James and Ann and live in New Zealand. James and Ann/Agnes left Scotland on the Jane Gifford together with his brother Hugh and sister Mary. They arrived and settled in Auckland New Zealand in October 1842. The Jane Gifford left Greenock Scotland together with the Duchess of Argyll.

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